Clause 256 - Restriction on proceedings and remedies

Part of Proceeds of Crime Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:45 pm ar 18 Rhagfyr 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 4:45, 18 Rhagfyr 2001

I beg to move amendment No. 357, in page 149, line 32, after 'receiver', insert

'and any other affected party'.

The clause imposes

''Restriction on proceedings and remedies''.

Subsection (1) states:

''While an interim receiving order has effect—

(a) the court may stay any action, execution or other legal process in respect of the property to which the order applies,

(b) no distress may be levied against the property''.

Subsection (2) provides:

''If a court (whether the High Court or any other court) in which proceedings are pending in respect of any property is satisfied that an interim receiving order has been applied for or made...the court may either stay the proceedings or allow them to continue on any terms it thinks fit.''

Subsection (3) states:

''Before exercising any power conferred by subsection (2), the court must give the enforcement authority and (if appointed) the interim receiver an opportunity to be heard.''

I am in favour of giving the enforcement authority and the interim receiver the opportunity to be heard, but what about the other side? The amendment would allow ''any other affected party''—the Minister will note the consistency of my approach; I use the word ''affected'' rather than ''interested'' party—to make representations to the court. Is it intended that, under the Bill, only the interim receiver or the enforcement authority may make representations? I find that strange. In circumstances in which there are bound to be other affected parties, they, too, should be entitled to make representations.

The amendment is minor and I do not believe that it would prejudice the outcome of the proceedings. The amendment does, at least, ensure fairness. If I have misunderstood the position and other affected parties are also able to make representations under a provision that is not spelt out in the clause, I should be happy to be reassured to that effect. Unless the Minister can reassure me about that, it seems to me that my amendment would be a valuable safeguard that would ensure that the court obeys the usual rules of hearing the other side.